Shiromi Jinja Taisai

Shiromi, Saito City, Miyazaki


Shiromi Jinja, Shiromi, Saito City, Miyazaki
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Saito City Tourism Association


There are four Kagura (Shinto music and dance performances) performed in Miyazaki prefecture: Yakagura, Takachiho-kagura, Shiiba-kagura, and Mera-kagura. One of the Mera-kagura is performed in the Shiromi Jinja Festival. This Kagura, which shows the traditional culture of hunting people and the elements of Shugendo (mountain asceticism), was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1977.

Kagura is performed during the annual festival from December 12th. Altogether, 33 kagura are performed, and the first kagura, “Hoshi-no-Mai (Star Dance),” is dedicated on the 13th. This performance is a ritual, in accordance with the philosophy of the ancient Chinese constellation, to prompt the descent of Shinto god. Overnight, from the evening of the 14th through to noon of the 15th, kagura 2 to 31 are performed. It finishes with kagura No.32 “Shishitogiri” in which you can see the traditional culture of hunting peoples in the Kyogen style, followed by No.33 “Kami-okuri,” to see off Shinto god who has descended. Nowadays, both kagura can only be seen in Shiromi-kagura.

The characteristics of this type of Kagura deeply reflect the traditional hunting culture of the mountain area. You will see the particular examples of it in the head of the wild boar dedicated as an offering to gods, or in the performance of Kagura No.32 “Shishitogoiri.” Kagura No.8 “Nishinomiya Daimyojin” is one of the most prestigious in this Kagura. People believe that when you cast money offerings during the performance and if they fall into the crown of a costume, something good will happen to you. This is the climax of the festival as well as the dynamic Kagura No.10 “Shukujin Sanpo Kojin (one of the Buddhist beliefs).”

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